Both will join the Blue Jackets for training camp to attempt to earn a roster spot with the team.
Sheppard was a 1st round draft pick (9th overall) in 2009, spending three seasons each with the Minnesota Wild and San Jose Sharks, before being traded at the deadline to the New York Rangers for a 4th round pick in 2016.
In total, between the Sharks and Rangers, Sheppard played 71 games last season, scoring seven goals and 11 assists. He also grabbed 13 postseason games with the Rangers, over which he had just a goal and an assist. He was scratched for six games of the Rangers’ postseason run.
#CBJ have signed forwards James Sheppard & Antti Pihlstrom to professional tryout agreements (PTO). Both players will attend training camp.
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) September 5, 2015
The 30-year-old Pihlstrom was undrafted, but spent time playing with the Nashville Predators for two seasons from 2007-09. During that time he played 54 games, scoring two goals and five assists.
After his time in Nashville the winger went to the Finnish Elite League, where he had a couple strong years. He’s spent the four seasons with Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the KHL, scoring 16 goals and 12 assists through 60 games last season.
Lots of familiar names are taking PTOs this season. Keep up with all the tryout contracts with The Hockey Writers’ 2015 PTO Tracker.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.